The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

NFC South, Just Barely


The NFC South is the best division in football by a whisker over the NFC East.

At the top of the NFC South is Carolina (7-2), which may be the best team in the NFC. It's certainly either the Panthers or New York Giants (8-1), but it's too close to call.

But let's just assume for the sake of argument the Giants are better than the Panthers. In that case, the divisions even out because Tampa Bay is the better second-place team, ahead of Washington in the East.

Again, it's a razor-thin margin. Both teams are 6-3, but Tampa Bay has the edge because it has a coach with plenty of postseason success and a defense filled with veterans who have excelled in the biggest games. The Redskins have a rookie head coach and an unproven postseason quarterback.

What separates the NFC South from the NFC East are the third- and fourth-place teams: Atlanta and New Orleans. The Falcons are perhaps the most pleasant surprise in the NFL this season and are in the thick of the playoff chase at 6-3. Heck, they still have a legitimate chance at the division title.

The Saints may be 4-5, but who wants to play against that offense? Drew Brees is perhaps the best passer in the NFC, and New Orleans can score quickly and in bunches. Don't be surprised to see the Saints go on a run to end the season.

Both Atlanta and New Orleans have a lot more going for them than Philadelphia and Dallas, which is imploding right before our eyes. The Cowboys may not finish the season better than 8-8, much less make the playoffs.

The Eagles may find themselves in similar a circumstance as Dallas after last night's loss to the Giants. Philadelphia's staple has been defense, but in three games against division foes, the Eagles have yielded 41, 23 and 36 points.

By Gene Wang  |  November 10, 2008; 11:05 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The Redskins Defense doesn't mind playing the Saints offense. We beat them already.

I'm pretty sure the Cowgirls, even with Romo playing poorly and Barber running for under 100 yards, still beat the Buccaneers.

The Eagles pretty much dominated Atlanta that same week by 13 points.

And I would bet the house that the Giants will beat Carolina in week 16, at home, and bring the NFC East to 4-0 against the "best division" NFC South.

So if the NFC East goes 4-0 against the NFC South, or even 3-1, which division is the best? Your logic does not make any sense Mr. Wang.

Posted by: JMSinCHeights | November 10, 2008 2:19 PM

I was all ready to rip on this but JMSinCHeights did it for me. The East has bested the south in intra-conference play. 3-0 already. It was Brad Johnson that beat the Bucks.

Posted by: Alex35332 | November 10, 2008 4:11 PM

JMS is absolutely right, and the logic that WANG uses is obviously biased on his love of the Bucs.
Wang, if you want to post an opinion, base it on logic and facts. Otherwise keep your opinion on the Bucs fan page at least you will get more people agreeing with you.

Posted by: OLYMF | November 10, 2008 5:53 PM

Mr. Wang should start writing about college football, because that is where arguments are made to prove a team is better instead of actual results.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that Mr. Wang criticizes Philadelphia's defense not for what the Falcons put up against them (only 14 points), but the damage put on them by other NFC East opponents. Relatedly, if Dallas is (in Mr. Wang's words) imploding and they were still able to beat the Bucs, wouldn't that imply that the NFC East is better?

The NFC South is winless in three attempts against the NFC East. The South is 17-8 outside their division, while the East is 18-6. The South has one team with a winning record on the road, while the East has only one team with a losing record on the road.

Results, Mr. Wang. Not arguments.

Posted by: EricO | November 10, 2008 6:28 PM

Is your last name Wang or Wong? Cuz you have the wong division in the NFL your rooting for. You say that Carolina & Giants is too close? Carolina barely beat the sorry azz Raiders, Anyone can beat the Saints, Atlanta's wins are against sorry teams but can't win on the road against good teams. Tampa Bay could not even beat a lousy Cowboys team. And you say NFC South is the best division.. Don't eat too much MSG on your noodles, cuz it corrupts your brains....LMAO

Posted by: Big Kahuna | November 10, 2008 6:39 PM

I have never seen such a flawed analysis as the one written by mr wang. The NFC south is a paper lion. They crumble against solid teams (NFC east) and they are beaten in almost every statistical category that exists by...the NFC east. Unbalance rules this division with Brees' best passing yardage eclipsed by the aints' inability to stop anything. Come on, NFC South??? EAST IS THE BEAST

Posted by: raul | November 10, 2008 7:33 PM

You should see his Redskins Pregame's horrible. I'm wondering when they are going to open up that forum to the fans out there, because this guy has no idea what he's writing or talking about.

NFC East from top to bottom is far better than any other division in football. Every team in the division has a winning record, which the South doesn't have (see Saints), and we've won every game to this point against the South (see above posts: 3-0). The only other case is the AFC East, which doesn't hold water because they will eventually work that out...see Buffalo's record three weeks ago, and again today.

Posted by: cameron | November 11, 2008 11:56 AM

I completely agree with Wang's analysis. Remember that the AFC West has such a woeful record this year as they play their inter-conference games with the NFC South. If they played the NFC East instead, most experts would agree their record would be way above .500.

In addition, the losses by the Saints and Falcons were aberrations or teams having a bad day - on paper they are far superior to the Redskins and Eagles respectively.

Finally, in terms of the quality of the offensive and defensive schemes, the NFC South wins hands-down - the NFC East employs much more vanilla schemes in comparison.

Posted by: jrod | November 11, 2008 12:36 PM

You're opinion is as bad as your fantasy advise you give poor noobs week in, week out. I stop listening to you're opinion 4 years ago...

Posted by: NFL Commish | November 11, 2008 5:50 PM

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